UCLA Anderson’s Justin Phillips (’18) (left) and Jarrid Johnston (FEMBA ’19) of team J^2 Capital won the 2017 Fink Stock Pitch Competition, with teams from UVA Darden School of Business and Stanford Graduate School of Business placing second and third, respectively. Phillips, an equity research analyst, described the rush of competing — and prevailing — in the seventh annual stock pitch.
By Justin Phillips (’18)
After answering the Fink Center’s annual call for resumes and statements of purpose, I was proud to learn that I had been selected to represent UCLA in the 2017 Fink Center Stock Pitch Competition. I soon learned that I would be partnered with Jarrid Johnston, a first-year FEMBA student, whom I’d never even met. And after a few brief calls, I could tell that Jarrid really knew his stuff. He is an investment professional with expertise in financial modeling and experience in public and private equities analysis. We called our team J^2 Capital because both our names start with the 10th letter of the alphabet.
We would have a week to prepare our first-round pitch options. On a Friday morning, we received our investment universe, scrutinizing the securities list of popular equities like Tesla, NVIDIA and Amazon. Given the one-year investment horizon, we decided to pitch Health Equity (HQY) as a long because of its sustainable, scalable business model and an accommodative regulatory environment. We each conducted our own investigations on the name by vetting the recent quarterly and annual reports, conference calls, investor days and sell-side research. After a few days, we came together and built out our investment thesis and valuation. Balancing the stock pitch with the rigors of first-year MBA coursework proved to be a challenging but rewarding experience.